How long can a can of dog food with a lid stay fresh in the refrigerator?
• Once a can of dog food is opened it should be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than seven days—IF you have a very tight lid on it. Bacteria grow fast, so if you suspect a problem, throw it out.
If you won’t use an entire can at once, a safer bet is to consider freezing single-serve portions and thawing them on an as-needed basis.
• If the can is unopened, a can of dog food can remain fresh for years when stored in a cool and dry location. However, only buy the number of cans that can be used before they reach their “best by” dates.
• If the can is opened, and left at room temperature, it should be discarded after four hours. Clean the bowl prior to refilling it.
Some people do find that dried kibble is a more convenient choice. They often prefer to buy larger bags, since they’re often less expensive than the smaller. Know that proper storage also very much pertains to dried food. Also, “best buy” dates only pertain to the bag when it is unopened. It also needs to be stored properly:
Here are a few tips for storing dried kibble:
• “Use By” (or “Best Used By”, etc.) dates apply ONLY to sealed bags, so date the bag of dog food with a marker when you open it so you can keep track.
• Store dog food in its original bag but, if you want to use a pet food container, place the whole bag into it. The original packaging is important because it keeps the kibble from oxygen and humidity. When storing portions, glass or ceramic is best, because plastic leaches oils can become rancid and contaminate the rest of the food.
• Keep the barcode, batch code, and expiration date in a safe place. You’ll find these on the bag and they identify the particular batch of food you’re feeding your pet. If there’s ever a dog food recall, or if you suspect any problem, you’ll need this information.